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About this product
- DescriptionAlthough Herman Melville's masterworks Moby-Dick and Benito Cere have long been the subject of vigorous scholarly examination, the impact of African culture on these works has received surprisingly little critical attention. Presenting a groundbreaking reappraisal of these two powerful pieces of fiction, Sterling Stuckey reveals how African customs and rituals heavily influenced one of America's greatest velists. The Melville that emerges in this invative, intertextual study is one profoundly shaped by the vibrant African-influenced music and dance culture of nineteenth-century America. Drawing on extensive research, Stuckey reveals how celebrations of African culture by black Americans, such as the Pinkster festival and the Ring Shout dance form, permeated Melville's environs during his formative years and found their way into his finest fiction. Also demonstrated is the extent to which the author of Moby-Dick is indebted to Frederick Douglass's depiction of music, especially the blues, in his classic slave narrative. Connections between Melville's work and African culture are also extended beyond America to the African continent itself. With readings of hitherto unexplored chapters in Dela's Voyages and Travels in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and other nfiction sources-such as Joseph Dupuis's Journal of a Residence in Ashantee -Stuckey links Benito Cere and Moby-Dick , pinpointing the sources from which Melville drew to fashion major characters that appear aboard both the Pequod and the San Dominick . Combining inventive literary and historical analysis, Stuckey shows how myriad aspects of African culture coalesced to create the unique vision conveyed in Moby-Dick and Benito Cere. Ultimately, African Culture and Melville's Art provides a wealth of insight into the velist's expressive power and the development of his distinct cross-cultural aesthetic.
- Author BiographySterling Stuckey is Distinguished Professor Emeritus of History at University Of California, Riverside. He is the author of the groundbreaking studies Slave Culture: Nationalist Theory and the Foundations of Black America and Going through the Storm: The Influence of African American Art in History, both published by Oxford University Press.
- Author(s)Sterling Stuckey
- PublisherOxford University Press Inc
- Date of Publication03/02/2011
- SubjectLiterary Criticism
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintOxford University Press Inc
- Content Noteblack & white illustrations
- Weight258 g
- Width156 mm
- Height235 mm
- Spine9 mm
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